Hiking solar cell efficiency: Moser Baer, Yingli/Dupont trot their latest numbers

India’s Moser Baer says a new “metal and intrinsic layer semiconductor” (MIST) technology can push its PV cell conversion efficiency to 21% or more. Meanwhile, Yingli and DuPont reveal their work in improving Yingli’s Panda module technology.

January 24, 2012 – India’s Moser Baer says it has adopted a “metal and intrinsic layer semiconductor” (MIST) technology that it says can push its PV cell conversion efficiency to 21% or more. It’s unclear precisely where this new MIST technology applies; the company says it’s leveraging both c-Si and thin-film module technology, to make the high-efficiency cells. It does specify that the R&D work was done over “the past few years” on “multiple technology platforms” at the company’s labs in India and the Netherlands. The company lists capabilities for both c-Si (100MW cells, 90MW modules) and thin-film (50MW modules) solar PV, plus “a few megawatts” for concentrated PV, with plans for expansion.

We’ve contacted Moser Baer for clarification on what exactly this MIST technology is, how it is being implemented into current manufacturing (with any changes/upgrades), and for any timelines to introduce the improved cells into pilot and volume production. We’ll share any details we get.

DuPont, Yingli tout Panda collab

Elsewhere in higher-efficiency cells, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions and Yingli Green Energy are revealing an ongoing collaboration to push solar cell efficiency and new module manufacturing processes and designs for Yingli’s n-type metal wrapthrough Panda technology.

Specifically, the gains made via the DuPont-Yingli collaboration include: integrating DuPont’s Solamet PV17x metallization technology with an advanced cell diffusion process, and integrating both customized metallization materials (to boost efficiency) and fluoride films (to improve power output).

Yingli launched its Panda efforts in 2009 in conjunction with the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN) and Amtech’s Tempress subsidiary, aiming to reduce up to 40% metal coverage vs. standard c-Si cells, translating to around a 1.5% gain in relative cell efficiency; it also expects to realize far better cost reductions than with standard mc-Si. In a July 2011 Solarbuzz ranking of top modules, Panda ranked in a tight bunch around 16% efficiency, behind the ~19% panels of SunPower, AUO, and Sanyo; since last September Yingli says it’s getting about 19.7% in lab tests.

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